Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide and in the United States, specifically. New research finds that excessive sleep considerably raises the risk of this cardiovascular problem.
Globally, 15 million people experience a stroke each year. Almost 6 million of these people die as a result, and 5 million go on to live with a disability.
In the U.S., over 795,000 people have a stroke each year.
The list of traditional risk factors for stroke is long, ranging from elements of lifestyle, including smoking, to preexisting conditions, such as diabetes.
More recently, researchers have started exploring sleep duration as another potential risk factor. Some studies have found that either too much or too little sleep can increase the risk of cardiovascular events, including stroke.
According to these findings, regular sleep deprivation and sleep for more than 7 hours per night are each associated with a higher risk of stroke.
Now, a study appearing in the journal Neurology finds an association between daytime naps, excessive sleep, and stroke risk.
Dr. Xiaomin Zhang, from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in Wuhan, China, is the corresponding author of the paper that details this study.
85% higher risk in long sleepers, nappers
Dr. Zhang and the team collected information from 31,750 people in China. None of the participants — who were 62 years old, on average — had a history of stroke or any other serious health condition at the start of the study.
The participants answered questions about their sleeping patterns and napping…